Published on November 2, 2012 at 2:46 AM
"Two years after the launch of a global effort to mobilize countries in the use of scientific approaches to improve nutrition, the movement seems to be gaining momentum," IRIN reports, noting, "More than 30 countries have signed up with the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, better known by its acronym SUN." However, "some countries are still reluctant to join amid questions and criticism over its lack of clarity and perceived relationship with companies that have controversial nutrition records, say experts," the news service writes.
"SUN is considered a 'big tent, designed to create the political space within which various nutrition initiatives can be implemented to best effect,' said David Nabarro, coordinator of the movement and special representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for food security and nutrition," IRIN notes. "But this could be its undoing," the news service continues, adding, "In its attempts to be a church for all religions, SUN might lose much-needed support from champions of nutrition, who are often purists in their approach." The news service discusses why some countries have refused to participate in the movement, citing South Africa as an example. "South Africa has yet to join SUN, with some experts saying that it is overly focused on packaged interventions such as ready-to-use-therapeutic foods," according to IRIN. "Werner Schultink, chief of nutrition at the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), said there were several reasons why other countries had not signed up, from a lack of capacity by fragile governments to nutrition not being a priority," the news service writes (10/31).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.